Saturday, July 13, 2013

Yankees Shut Out Twins

With the lack of offense tonight, the story was the pitching and Hiroki Kuroda in particular. The righty only pitches five innings because of a lengthy rain delay but was able to get the winning decision because his offense scored in the fifth inning, just after Kuroda exited the game. He threw a lot of pitches, as it took him ninety pitches to get through five innings because he allowed many base runners. He put eight runners on base in five innings of work but managed to keep the Twins from scoring as he was on his way to his eighth win of the season, even though he clearly deserves more. Mariano Rivera blew two saves in games where Kuroda was lined up to earn a victory, so Kuroda could hypothetically have ten wins and be on the All-Star roster this season. That is another thing about Kuroda. Despite not making the All-Star team with the best first half ERA of the season in the American League he didn't put up a fuss but rather took it gracefully and like a gentleman. Hiroki Kuroda has pitched to a 2.65 ERA in the first half which has resulted in only eight wins. He could easily have twelve wins today but that isn't how the cards align during his starts. Even tonight the Yankees were only able to score two runs for their starter. Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano both had RBI singles in the fifth inning as those two runs were the only two runs scored on either side. The Yankees shut out the Twins, making this their sixth shutout against an opponent this season. The last time they did it was on May 17th against the Blue Jays in a 5-0 win. Besides Claiborne, the bullpen pitched three perfect innings while striking out seven batters in the process. Boone Logan came into the seventh with two men on base and struck out the side to keep the Yankees lead in tact.
The Yankees love playing the Twins, with or without Jeter. It would have been better to feel the captain's presence in the lineup but it wasn't meant to be as Jeter is nursing a Grade 1 quad strain. In tomorrow afternoon's game Samuel Deduno will get another crack at the Yankees. Last week in Minnesota the Yankees were baffled by the pitcher but eventually got to him and the game was a blowout. Phil Hughes will look to turn in another dominant performance as the Yankees are only two games away from a series sweep of the Minnesota Twins.

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